Saturday, March 22, 2008

Open Thread

Needed a break from the political stuff, so I checked out some Discovery News stories. One in particular, an article entitled Squirrels Network Like Facebook Friends, caught my attention.

And the picture accompanying the article was just crying out for the lolcat treatment....

Haloscan comment thread

Carville's reaction to the Richardson endorsement

Gollum speaks (via an article in the New York Times)

The reaction of some of Mr. Clinton’s allies suggests that might have been a wise decision. “An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.
Stunningly offensive remarks in so many ways.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Casey Knowles' new ad for Obama

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~ ♡ ~ I T ' S ♡ S P R I N G ! ! ! ~ ♡ ~

Note from Renee: I happen to be home sick today, so I had time to add the Haloscan link, which I otherwise would hot have been able to add until this evening. So a quick reminder that I don't always have time to keep up with the blog, but I make a point of "growing" Haloscan links here. Those of you who know how this works, please help out those who don't.

(Detail of a wax design created by listener on a huge Paschal Candle for a church in Vermont.)

Let's hear it for new beginnings!

Well, this is as close as I can get to posting a picture of Spring flowers.
We are expecting 6" (or more) of snow!

For some reason I cannot fathom, that fact doesn't bother me at all.

So, HAPPY SPRING to all, whatever your circumstances!!

Haloscan comment thread

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Trinity UCC's Palm Sunday message

Would be nice if the media did a better job of dealing with "nuance". But, since they don't, I think it's important to hear what the current pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Rev. Otis Moss III, has to say in support of his church.

Nearly three weeks before the 40th commemorative anniversary of the murder of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s character is being assassinated in the public sphere because he has preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globe.

Dr. Wright has preached 207,792 minutes on Sunday for the past 36 years at Trinity United Church of Christ. This does not include weekday worship services, revivals and preaching engagements across America and around the globe, to ecumenical and interfaith communities. It is an indictment on Dr. Wright’s ministerial legacy to present his global ministry within a 15- or 30-second sound bite,” said the Reverend Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

During the 36-year pastorate of Dr. Wright, Trinity United Church of Christ has grown from 87 to 8,000 members. It is the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ denomination.

“It saddens me to see news stories reporting such a caricature of a congregation that has been such a blessing to the UCC’s Wider Church mission,” said the Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president, in a released statement. “ … It’s time for us to say ‘No’ to these attacks and declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends.”

Trinity United Church of Christ’s ministry is inclusive and global. The following ministries have been developed under Dr. Wright’s ministerial tutelage for social justice: assisted living facilities for senior citizens, day care for children, pastoral care and counseling, health care, ministries for persons living with HIV/AIDS, hospice training, prison ministry, scholarships for thousands of students to attend historically black colleges, youth ministries, tutorial and computer programs, a church library, domestic violence programs and scholarships and fellowships for women and men attending seminary.

Moss added, “The African American Church was born out of the crucible of slavery and the legacy of prophetic African American preachers since slavery has been and continues to heal broken marginalized victims of social and economic injustices. This is an attack on the legacy of the African American Church which led and continues to lead the fight for human rights in America and around the world.”

On a related note, I highly recommend Booman's post about Rev. Wright, Barack Obama, and race in America.

Also, Barack Obama is set to give a major address on race and politics tomorrow in Philadelphia.

Additional links:
Cincinnati NAACP responds to attacks on the African-American Church!

Remarks by Pastor Dan (a United Church of Christ minister) of Street Prophets

Let me tell you something about preaching by Pastor Dan

Can I get an amen?

UPDATE: As I was commenting elsewhere a couple days ago, there are people out there (often Hillary supporters) who seem to think this is a good time to pop some popcorn, sit back, and get their schadenfreude on. Hoping that this will be what takes Obama down, and rationalizing that it's for the best, because Wright's statements will only come back in the form of 527 ads in the fall. To me, that seems to be a very short-sighted "the ends justify the means way of looking at the situation.

And I can't help but be reminded of the whole "Dean scream" thing, and indeed the whole caricatured portrayal of the good doctor/governor from Vermont--which for some people, was all they ever saw of him. Some fellow Democrats who supported another candidate happily adopted a "blame the victim" approach, saying that Howard should have known this was how hardball politics was played, and should have been more careful not to provide the media soundbites that could be used against him.

Why are we not all working harder to hold the media more accountable? And to make sure the rest of the story is told, and the context is provided, so that people know the whole story.

As much as I would have liked to see an Al Gore candidacy, I completely understood why he wouldn't want to subject himself to another political campaign, given the treatment he received from the media last time around. Sadly, things haven't gotten better since then.

One thing that saddens me is the stunning lack of curiosity that so many people have displayed with regard to Rev. Wright and his church of 8000 members. In the Palm Sunday sermon at my church, my priest quoted something that Wright had said when he spoke to the Ohio Ministries Convocation earlier this year. I couldn't scrawl fast enough to write down what he said, but thought I might be able to find that speech on line somewhere. So far, no luck. Will have to keep looking.

Right now, though, I need to get to work. For those who have YouTube viewing capabilities, I recommend watching these videos which were made by ministers at Trinity UCC.

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{listener's Granddaughter*in*NC at the St. Paddy's Day parade.}

Open Thread for all Leprechauns
and all others who need some good ol' Irish luck. ♣

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

What really deserves to be "renounced"?

I've already expressed my frustration with the "renouncing game" that the media likes to play, and some activists seem to support--if they think it might benefit their candidate. One of the main problems, in my mind, is the false equivalency. This business of "Has Obama done enough to distance himself..." seems like a hoop that people demand the candidate jump through. Because, well, they can, and that's how the game is played.

But some supporter statements are more relevant than others. There's a difference between "guilt by association", and people in key positions who make statements that give us a clue about how you will govern. I'm thinking of some of the more egregious remarks made by Carville, Begala, et. al.

If anyone has some of those at your fingertips, could you link them here? I'd like to start collecting those for a future post.

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In advance of the Olympic Games in China, many in Tibet have begun
active protests calling for freedom for Tibet, hoping the world will help.
Violence has broken out, and has begun to spread to provinces outside Lhasa.
The non-violence movement itself is in peril. Please hold Tibet in the Light.

The Bush Administration has basically painted the United States into a corner, as regards China, because we now owe so much money to China at a time when we have depleted our military and our domestic resources and have outsourced many jobs.

Now Tibet is in peril and the United States is too impotent to truly help. With the Olympics taking place soon in China, it would have been good for the United States to be able to take a stand. Instead there is only weak rhetoric:

International criticism of the crackdown in Tibet so far has been mild, with no threats of an Olympic boycott or other sanctions. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Sunday on China "to exercise restraint in dealing with the protests."

Rice said she was "concerned by reports of a sharply increased police and military presence in and around Lhasa." Her statement urged China to release those jailed for protesting.

The government will construe according to its wit. I, for one, plan to boycott the Olympic Games as well as all Chinese goods.

Hubby and I watched the movie 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama this week.
We highly recommend it!

(BTW, Cafe Press has many Free Tibet designs...such as the flag and the Dalai Lama photo featured here.
If you know of more, please post the links in this thread.)

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